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Csek Creative is gearing up to celebrate 25 years in business. Established in 1999, they are one of the Okanagan's longest-standing marketing agencies.
They have not only lived through the technology revolution, but have been trailblazers in the industry and have done many marketing ‘firsts’ provincially and nationally.
“Csek Creative started as a home base business 25 years ago, while juggling the challenges of children and family life,” says Jim Csek, COO & CFO of Csek Creative. Jim and Nikki Csek have been lifelong partners in both their personal and business endeavors with Csek Creative and Jim attributes much of its success to Nikki. “Our people have played a pivotal role in our success, and it all starts with Nikki and the individuals that she surrounds herself with.”
Jim and Nikki started Csek Creative when the world of technology was just emerging, when websites were thought of as a novelty. “When I was running radio stations in town before the internet became mainstream, Nikki and Jim reached out about getting a website for Sun FM,” says Jason Mann, VP of Operations of Csek Creative. “They helped me build the station's first website making it one of the first radio stations in the world with streaming capabilities.”
In addition, Csek pioneered some of the oldest websites in the Okanagan. “We built the inaugural website for the Kelowna RCMP, which stood as one of the first websites in Canada,” says Nikki Csek, CEO of Csek Creative.
In 25 years of business, Csek Creative has seen many changes from the 2008 recession to the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID and more recently, Bill-C18, which led to outlets losing their voice on Meta platforms.
“COVID has fundamentally altered our business. It’s disheartening to invest 25 years of hard work only to feel a loss of control,” shares Jim. Despite these challenges, Csek Creative has not only persevered, but has emerged as a guiding force for other businesses in the community.
Their ability to navigate challenges has set them apart, which is evident in landmark events like the Level Up conference that they held in 2019. This conference featured prominent political speakers, including Jean Chretien and Steven Harper, among others. Given the diverse lineup that included leaders from opposing parties, the event overcame many hurdles including mixed community feedback before the event took place. Despite the initial obstacles, the event saw remarkable success.
An ongoing challenge they face is the conception that larger agencies are the better choice. “We deal with clients who want to work with agencies in larger centers, as they think that’s where the experts are. I think it’s the opposite; we have more experts in our agency than a big one,” says Rob Cupello, Chief Marketing Officer of Csek Creative.
As Csek Creative has grown through the years, their primary goal has been to establish long-lasting and meaningful partnerships.
Nikki explains how a focus on client retention vs. client acquisition has been a key factor in their journey “One of the very first things I said was ‘when we get a client, let's service that client, take care of their needs, build a relationship with trust, and always earn the next part of the business. We will never become arrogant or conceited to think that we deserve their business.”
On the other hand, knowing when a client might not be a good match is just as important. “We retain a majority of our clients, but we aren’t always a match for everyone. We are getting better at realizing that,” shares Nikki.
In 2017, Rob Cupello joined the team as Chief Marketing Officer and merged his marketing agency with Csek Creative. Rob's agency was strategy and media focused with Csek Creative being website focused, resulting in the full-service marketing agency that they are today.
The rebrand of Csek Creative was a long time coming according to Rob “when we merged our two companies, we both brought a little of our own identity and we needed something that reflected our new services.”
The new brand embodies a contemporary era that blends sophistication with a playful spirit. Now known as ‘The House of More,’ they have crafted a virtual space that mirrors a welcoming ‘home’ inviting visitors to knock on their door anytime. With playful language, technical UX design and testimonials from satisfied clients, they have positioned themselves as a dynamic player in the modern world of marketing while showcasing their years of experience. You can check out their new website here!
The future of Csek Creative looks promising, but that’s not to say there isn’t uncertainty in the world we live in today. “I think there is such an enormous amount of uncertainty in the world, and I believe that it will take businesses in certain sectors to help lead the way and be trailblazers through this uncertainty,” says Nikki.
Although their plans for rapid expansion have subsided, this shift has allowed them to slow down and smell the roses. “ I love that I can drive around here and say ‘we did that brand, we did that logo, we did that website, we helped that client get funding.’ it's a legacy that makes me so unbelievably proud,” says Nikki when reflecting on the journey of Csek Creative.
If you're interested in marketing services for your brand, you can contact Csek Creative here.
Established in 1999, Csek Creative has cultivated an impressive portfolio of clients, expanding their reach provincially and nationally. In a significant development in 2017, the company underwent a merger, solidifying its position as a full-service marketing agency with a diverse range of offerings. Beyond business, Csek Creative is deeply committed to community engagement, actively participating in initiatives such as Kelowna Santas—an annual charity event supporting families in need during the holidays. Csek Creative not only serves clients but also plays an important role in shaping and mentoring businesses within the local community.